Finding a mentor in business is so key to your success. I mean think about it…if we want to learn something, most of the time, we seek out someone who already knows how to do it and we read what they’ve written or we watch their youtube video or we take their class or we hire them to coach us…right?
Even in school, our teachers were the subject matter expert…ok, well if you just spit out your coffee because you are thinking of that horrible teacher you had that was basically made to teach world history but was really there just to coach baseball…I get it…totally right, we all have had one of those.
But when I think of really great mentors in my life…gosh there have been soooooo many…but one that made the biggest impact was when I was beginning my first year of teaching after having just moved to Japan.
Most of us are familiar with field trips right?!?!
You’ve taken one as a kid, you’ve helped as a mom, but when you are a teacher…let me just tell you that the anxiety is always HIGH!!!
Will I remember the lunches?
Will everyone go to the potty break?
What if someone has a medical emergency?
Did I bring the payment for the event?
Please God…don’t let me lose a kid!!!!
Now imagine that your very FIRST field trip as a brand new teacher was to a Coca Cola factory in a foreign country where you didn’t speak or read the language…did your palms just get sweaty…yep, mine too…and I’ve had 22 years to recover from this trauma…hahaha!!
We had just moved to Japan and I had been hired by the Department of Defense to teach 4th grade at the military base school. MC Perry Elementary in Iwakuni Japan was my very first teaching gig.
The second week in the classroom they announced in our grade level meeting to make sure you had everything in place for the field trip.
I had come in mid-year to take over for someone who had retired. God love him, but it was a hot mess….and not only was I learning to live in a foreign country, trying to survive in my Japanese house with no central heat (imagine kerosene heaters all over your house with a 14 month old…not cool)…learn how to drive a car on the opposite side of the road, navigate a new AMAZING culture, but now I was expected to take my 4th graders on a field trip that would require a ferry ride, multiple meals out, and we’d be getting back super late that night?!?!?!?
Ahhhhhhh……sigh… Luckily, I had been given a Mentor teacher.
And while I actually needed a LIFE MENTOR, this precious soul of a woman helped me through some of the biggest challenges I’d ever faced in my career…heck just in life, in general!
Talk about feeling like I was barely keeping my head above the water…. That Mentor teacher was my lifeline for surviving that first year. I was so thankful for her patience, her grace, her guidance, her steadfast willingness to answer my questions, and her ability to give me “the look” to know that I needed to pull myself together and stop stressing over the little things!
She gently guided me, cheered loudly for me and with me, and she literally held my hand! (BTW, I didn’t lose any children on that first field trip…although I did have to use my disposable lunch bag when I realized that sitting in the middle of the bus makes me car sick…you can’t win them all!)
Most school districts have these programs in place for their beginning teachers. It helps make sure there is support and success. Those who have gone before, turning around to help those who are just a few steps back. And can I say that the same is true in business.
If you are just starting out…or heck, if you are starting in a new season, or with a new offer, or want to learn something new…hire a Mentor.
Seek out someone who is there to bounce ideas off of, that will give you “the look”, and will cheer so loudly for you in all the successes and even in the stumbles…because ultimately, the stumbles still mean you are moving forward!!!!
Over the last few months, I have walked through many conversations with my coaching clients. Watching these photographers dig in and do the work they need to do in order to move forward has been so inspiring! Helping them implement strategies, have hard sales calls, book the clients, raise the prices, make a profit, build out a business the LOVE and that serves their community and their families really well….it simply makes my heart sing.
Some of the things we’ve worked through:
-mindset: getting our vision set, understanding and claiming our WHY, knowing that we can do anything we really want to do and to let go of the rest
-brand building: building out WHO you are for, WHAT you do, HOW it looks to work with you, WHERE to make those connections with potential clients
-money: how to make it, how to spend it, how to save it, how to invest it in our businesses
-structure: how to set up business structures and systems to create a streamlined business that works for THEM
-time management: how to find time in their days to do the dang thing even if they have littles at home, are homeschooling, are running a busy business, or working a day job.
-saying no: how to say no to things you can’t do if you want to grow your business. Finding the best Yes’s for their business.
-pricing: how to create packages and offers that meet the needs of their clients but that also create more profit
-client experience and a client journey: how to create a SWEET client experience that does so much of the marketing for you and that brings clients back again and again.
And often times…I simply hold space for where they are and what they need to do to move forward. They are all so talented and are simply looking for a framework or a specific skill that with a little guidance and mentoring, they are thriving and growing!
And I’m in the back cheering wildly like a mad woman because watching them fully live into their calling is what it’s all about!!